"the first part of the day, the morning," late 14c., contracted from Middle English morwen, morghen, from Old English (Mercian) margen (dative marne), earlier morgen (dative morgne) "morning, forenoon, sunrise," from Proto-Germanic *murgana- "morning" (source also of Old Saxon morgan, Old Frisian morgen, Middle Dutch morghen, Dutch morgen, Old High German morgan, German Morgen, Gothic maurgins), from PIE *merk-, perhaps from root *mer- "to blink, twinkle" (source of Lithuanian mirgėti "to blink"). By late 19c. relegated to poetry.
1620s, an old measure of land in Holland (hence also in South Africa and colonial New York and New Jersey), roughly two acres but sometimes less, probably identical with Dutch morgen "morning" (see morn) and meaning "the amount of land one man can plow in a morning."
"morning," 12c. in compounds (morge-sclep "morning-sleep," morgewile "period around daybreak"); mid-13c. as morewe; c. 1300 as morwe; a shortened variation of morewen "morrow" (see morn). It was formerly common in the salutation good morrow (late 14c.).
"first part of the day" (technically from midnight to noon), late 14c., a contraction of mid-13c. morwenynge, moregeninge, from morn, morewen (see morn) + suffix -ing, on pattern of evening. Originally the time just before sunrise.
As an adjective from 1530s; as a greeting by 1895, short for good morning. Morning after in reference to a hangover is from 1884; in reference to a type of contraception, attested by 1967. Morning sickness as a symptom of pregnancy is from 1793 (Old English had morgenwlætung). Morning glory, the twining plant, is from 1814, so called because the colorful trumpet-shaped flowers open only in the early morning. Morning star "Venus in the east before sunrise" is from 1530s (Old English had morgensteorra "morn-star").
"gloom, darkness," c. 1300, myrke, from Old Norse myrkr "darkness," from Proto-Germanic *merkwjo- (source also of Old English mirce "murky, black, dark;" as a noun, "murkiness, darkness," Danish mǿrk "darkness," Old Saxon mirki "dark"); perhaps cognate with Old Church Slavonic mraku, Serbo-Croatian mrak, Russian mrak "darkness;" Lithuanian merkti "shut the eyes, blink," from PIE *mer- "to flicker" (see morn). In Middle English also as an adjective (c. 1300, from Old Norse) and a verb. Sometimes spelled mirk, especially in Scotland. Mirk Monday was long the name in Scotland for the great solar eclipse of March 29, 1652 (April 8, New Style).
a word used to denote the marriage of a man of high rank to a woman of lower station with stipulations limiting her claims, also of the marriage of a woman of high rank to a man of lower station; 1727, from French morganatique (18c.), from Medieval Latin matrimonium ad morganaticam "marriage of the morning," probably from Old High German *morgangeba (Middle High German morgengabe) "morning gift," corresponding to Old English morgengifu (see morn + gift (n.) ).
In an unequal marriage between a man of royal blood and a common woman, this was a gift traditionally given to the wife on the morning after consummation, representing the only share she and her children may claim in the husband's estate. Also known as left-handed marriage, because the groom gives the bride his left hand instead of his right, but sometimes this latter term is used of a class of marriage (especially in Germany) where the spouse of inferior rank is not elevated, but the children inherit rights of succession. Related: Morganatically.
"machine to measure and indicate time mechanically" (since late 1940s also electronically), late 14c., clokke, originally "clock with bells," probably from Middle Dutch clocke (Dutch klok) "a clock," from Old North French cloque (Old French cloke, Modern French cloche "a bell"), from Medieval Latin clocca "bell," which probably is from Celtic (compare Old Irish clocc, Welsh cloch, Manx clagg "a bell") and spread by Irish missionaries (unless the Celtic words are from Latin). Ultimately of imitative origin.
Wherever it actually arose, it was prob. echoic, imitating the rattling made by the early handbells of sheet-iron and quadrilateral shape, rather than the ringing of the cast circular bells of later date. [OED]
Replaced Old English dægmæl, from dæg "day" + mæl "measure, mark" (see meal (n.1)). The Latin word was horologium (source of French horologe, Spanish reloj, Italian oriolo, orologio); the Greeks used a water-clock (klepsydra, literally "water thief;" see clepsydra).
The image of put (or set) the clock back "return to an earlier state or system" is from 1862. Round-the-clock (adj.) is from 1943, originally in reference to air raids. To have a face that would stop a clock "be very ugly" is from 1886. (Variations from c. 1890 include break a mirror, kill chickens.)
I remember I remember
That boarding house forlorn,
The little window where the smell
Of hash came in the morn.
I mind the broken looking-glass,
The mattress like a rock,
The servant-girl from County Clare,
Whose face would stop a clock.
[... etc.; The Insurance Journal, January 1886]